Peter Haynes is a BSFA-nominated fiction writer. Hailing from the wilds of Devon, he currently lives in Birmingham, UK.
My story “The Witch and the Elderman” is available as audio from my reading at Unsung Live in July.
As mentioned in my rambly intro, this piece was conceived as a very loose follow up to my BSFA-nominated story Build a Cat (also for Unsung) in which I try to imagine some of the digital denizens or far descendants of the things created by the characters in Cat, and what might happen if a completely artificial world begins to dream itself a little.
A fairly smooth reading I think. Don’t know as I’ll never listen to it. Hate hearing myself.
This flash haunting appears in the Riggwelter vol 2.
Trap Street Irregulars
I appeared at the PowWow Literary festival and read a short fiction piece based on the theme urban myths and fairy tales called “Trap Street Irregulars” which concerns finding the copyright trap streets on Ordnance Survey maps might be more than just on paper and what happens should you travel down one…
It got a pretty good reception, and I shall now search for a print or online home for it.
Last year, a short story of mine was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association award and I found this whole idea so weird and unlikely that I had to purge the nonsense from my system with this little flash.
Awards eh? Silly business, but I’m really happy when my friends win them.
My short piece — described by some a thriller, and by myself as “not my usual output” — is reprinted at the Island Review for your uneasy delight.
My short story Build a Cat has been nominated for a British Science Fiction Association award for 2016, in the shorter fiction category!
Although I have long felt the big awards are a bit of silly old business, this is news that is both totally unexpected and welcome since it comes from the genre community in which awards (I feel) reinforce a sense of appreciation and ‘geek camaraderie’ over any other impulse.
It won’t go any further but it’s nice to get a nod.
The Drowning of Corporal Blake – STORGY magazine
I was asked to write a synopsis of the 2000 word short story (new experience for me) and this is what I came up with:
With only a measure of smuggled alcohol for comfort, a disillusioned solider learns how duty can take many forms in war and how there is always room for mercy.
My usual happy-time fun fayre, then.
STONE in Corbel Stone Press’s Reliquiae Journal
My short story Stone appears in Reliquiae Journal volume 4, November 2016.
The placement of this in Reliquiae came as something of a surprise — a most welcome surprise of course — since the piece is essentially a work of nature- and landscape-inspired speculative fiction and I wasn’t convinced it was an appropriate fit for this particular publication.
But the editors liked it and I was very pleased to have it accepted.
The setup has precedents in so many petty border dispute wars that exist because of ignorance, generational hatred and the will of the ruling classes, but the “technology” at work is nothing more than a vast piece of rock that appears above one of the combatants’ territory.
As I mention in the upcoming Build a Cat podcast, in SF it is often the case that what’s more important about a propelling piece of technology (or concept, or new behaviour, or giant floating stone etc) is to comprehend the effects rather than its specific workings.
What is the effect of this alien visitor? Will its incomprehensible size and means of transit widen the range of the people’s thinking beyond perpetrating yet more years of senseless suffering?
Reliquiae is an annual literary journal of poetry, short fiction, translations and essays. Edited by Autumn Richardson & Richard Skelton and published by Corbel Stone Press, it combines diverse contemporary and historical responses to landscape – ecological, lyrical, ethnological, visionary, philosophical, esoteric.
Travels By Foxlight, a new short story of mine, is published by Unsung Stories.
This is me considering some of the means (technological and behavioural) we may bring about our own demise, and how we are often wont to become trapped in certain unbreakable cycles. Enjoy!
Unsung releases a peach of a short every two weeks. It’s well worth subscribing – Unsung are doing good work in putting out regular short SF fiction pieces and publishing unique longer works of SF/weird.
Ilana Masad of the Other Stories podcast describes my story Build a Cat as ‘an eerie, beautiful story about technology, love, and the intense beauty of building new worlds and puzzle solving.’
I love this description (and shows I really need to work on my sizzle-lines), and it serves the story well. In this episode I read the entire piece and then discuss how it came about and my writing in general with Ilana.
My writers’ group makes an appearance on the ThankBookFor podcast (http://www.thankbookfor.com/), wherein I can be heard chipping in from the sidelines.
To The Ghost of the Homeless Man I Met By the ATM Last Night at Spelk Fiction
With Christmas fast approaching (according to the supermarkets at least), it’s time to reflect on the plight of disembodied spirits as the nights start drawing in.
Infinite in Every Direction in Here Comes Everyone magazine
Read my 140 word flash Infinite in Every Direction in the diverse and handsome quarterly Here Comes Everyone.
The shop link is http://herecomeseveryone.me/shop/ and a PDF version will be available later.
Build a Cat at Unsung Stories
This kind of story (which was written on a most excellent Arvon retreat) is one that feels oddly contemporary given recent tech news – nothing dates faster than the future, after all.
VR/AR was still basically at prototype/low take-up stage then. Now affordable consumer VR is just around the corner. In ten years, the tech side (wires, plastic) will disappear. We might want to use the platform for something more than just gaming, like, say, integrating folding technology to help cure horrible diseases?
Here is a story from that future.
This story also appears in the Best Of collection, which new subscribers receive for free when singing up to the mailing list at http://signup.unsungstories.co.uk/shorts
End of the World Music at Litro USA (formerly Litro NY)
An allegorical amuse bouche courtesy of the lovely people at Litro USA. This is quite an old piece. I’m very pleased something from a couple years back has found a home.
Original Album Classics in Change Seven Magazine issue 2
A short piece about how regret is both the burden and gift of youth, accepted by the charming folk at Change Seven mag.
Witch Houses in Hypertext magazine
Cargo Cults, red notices, murder, nature… all the good stuff.
The people behind Hypertext are just the nicest. So supportive and enthusiastic about new writing. I’m very happy to know them.
Expressions of Venom and Spleen at EveryDayFiction.com
This one was the direct output of an instant writing exercise at Group. It went to EDF, somehow got passed their readers (!) and there it is.
This story (which you can read if you’re clever with the Look Inside function on the above product page) came about from my memory of a “real life” ghost story I heard as a kid back in the Old Country. This fine collection came about as a fund-raising project for a local literary festival.
Sometimes you listen to a Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent, and sometimes you hear described a place that sparks the imagination, and sometimes you also happen to be researching Venetian city-state trading and Persian God-Kings and it all smooshes together in a pleasing way.
I have a small story in this fund-raising collection for my ‘alma mater’, Solihull Writers. It’s called the Six Way Super Yankee and it’s about how bad and good luck sometimes presents in the exact same moment.
250 words on, well, I think you get it.
Time ’tis to discourse from the preacher’s chair. By the well of Urd I silent sat, I saw and meditated, I listened to men’s words. “Birmingham has more canals than Venice, you know!”